• Short Summary

    Hippies seeking refuge from the 'rat-race' of the western world have been banned from entering Nepal.

  • Description


    GV PAN..Kathmandu
    LV Tibetan temple
    SV PAN..from Tibetan lama to two hippies sleeping on the grass at temple
    CU hippie asleep
    CU PAN..over hippie
    SV Hippie walks through Buddhist temple
    CU Two hippies from Melbourne sitting on steps of temple (2 shots)
    LV PAN..down temple
    LV Eden hotel
    CU Sign welcoming hippies and advertising hashish for sale
    CU Sign 'Tashi's Trek Stop' and Hungarian Restaurant (2 shots)
    SV Hippies walking in street
    LV Hippies in street (2 shots)
    SV Indian hippie walking across street
    SV Male hippie walking through street
    SV Japanese hippie with guitar case
    SV Truck enters city

    Initials MF/AW/PS/1200 MF/AW/ES.1415
    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
    Background: Hippies seeking refuge from the 'rat-race' of the western world have been banned from entering Nepal. The ban came from King Mahendra himself, following complaints from the population that the tranquillity o the country was being disturbed by the behaviour of foreign hippies.
    Nepal's foreign immigration authorities are trying to enforce the ban without knowing exactly what a hippy is. Whilst awaiting official guidance the border officials allow only "normal-looking" westerners into the remote Himalayan kingdom.
    For the past two years, Kathmandu has been the end of the road for hippies from all over the world. For some, the aim is the serious pursuits of studying Buddhist culture and sampling the fabled mysticism of Nepalese life. For others, the attraction is cheap and legal hashish. Kathmandu lies at the end of the "drug route" from Turkey through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
    Local feelings against the hippies, who number about 500, have grown recently, particularly since a minor incident in July when five of them tried to approach King Mahendra at Nepal's leading hotel.
    "Foreign hippies have nobody to blame but themselves for having provoked the government into deciding not to issue visas to them anymore", one Nepalese newspaper said.
    "Hippies had abused the hospitality of this country by indulging in drug (hashish) smuggling and such activities as carrying unlicensed arms on their persons."
    The hippy cult in Kathmandu has given rise to many cheap lodging houses and restaurants, but many are so poor that they rely on the hospitality of the Buddhist temples run by Tibetan monks.
    While most Nepalese have welcomed the move to restrict the hippies truck drivers are none too happy. They bring most of the hippies from the Indian border at one US dollar a trip.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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